prehistory

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From pre- (before) +‎ history, first attested in the Foreign Quarterly Review in 1836,[1] after the model of prehistoric, from French préhistorique.

Noun[edit]

prehistory (countable and uncountable, plural prehistories)

  1. (properly) History before written records, inclusive of both
    1. The time before written records in any area of the world; the events and conditions of those times.
    2. The study of those times.
  2. (humorous, hyperbolic) Any past time (even recent) treated as such a distant, unknowable era.
    • 1984, Shiva Naipaul, Beyond the Dragon's Mouth, p. 25:
      I was a town boy through and through. The country belonged to a vague pre-history.
  3. (often as pre-history) The history leading up to some event, condition, etc.
    • 1931 July 25, Time & Tide, p. 893:
      Psychologists... are mostly bad historians, inventing—as Freud has done—their pre-history to suit their theories.

Synonyms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eddy, Matthew Daniel, “The Prehistoric Mind as a Historical Artefact”, in Notes and Records of the Royal Society[1], volume 65, 2011, DOI:10.1098/rsnr.2010.0097, pages 1–8